Mayim Bialik: ‘Breastfeeding Is Not A Sexual Act’

    February 26, 2014
    Kimberly Ripley
    Comments are off for this post.

Mayim Bialik is a big proponent of breastfeeding–yes, even in public. The actress and neuroscientist has had to defend her parenting style–attachment parenting–way more than she believes is necessary over the past several years. She spoke during an interview with the Huffington Post on Monday, and once again defended breastfeeding.

“I received a tremendous amount of backlash,” the Big Bang Theory star said, referring to when she nursed her then 3-year-old son Fred on a New York City subway train. “What I like to point out is that was the best way for that subway ride to be pleasant for everyone. It was the end of a very long day.”

She says she was simply putting her son’s needs first.

“That was not a weak moment of parenting but a conscious decision of, ‘I have the best way to make this child happy and content right now,” she said.

Mayim Bialik credits the Jewish parenting site Kveller with affording her “a safe place for me to speak up to the thousands and thousands of women who parent this way who get people harassing them all the time, and people looking at us funny in every department store or wherever else we nurse.”

“When I was nursing, I didn’t feel the need to be immodest, but I also feel like that’s going to vary from woman to woman. I would try to be absolutely respectful and conscious of the community I was in. But I don’t believe you need to cover up a baby eating anymore than you need to cover a baby drinking a bottle,” she added.

Mayim is widely known for supporting mothers who nurse their babies. She recently tweeted a bit of that support.

Bialik fears that society has somehow sexualized a very non-sexual act that is perfectly normal between a mother and her child.

“Our culture has a very, very bizarre relationship with breasts. Breastfeeding is not a sexual act. It’s an intimate act, and that makes some people uncomfortable, but it’s completely normal to have all of the human hormones that are released when you breastfeed regulating your relationship with your child,” she said.

Kudos to Mayim Bialik for once again defending public breastfeeding. It seems absolutely absurd for a woman to have to hide away in a restroom or a dark corner in order to feed her baby in the most natural way possible.

Image via YouTube

  • Dhanh Mehti

    sexual act or not I do not want to see breastesees in public. please spear me of any breasts in public.

    • Grow Up

      Breasts are a natural part of human anatomy, and are a fact of life. Breasts are going to exist in public as long as people are in public; why does it matter if the breast is exposed or not? As yourself; Why does human anatomy make you so uncomfortable?

    • Bob

      I don’t want to see super fat people in tiny clothes in public either, fat rolls gross me out, if I don’t like something, I simply look away. NBD

    • Stephen Thompson

      OK. Stay Home.

      • Sunny

        That’s your solution? Everyone is entitled to express his/her opinion!

    • Citizens for Decorum

      Actually, I find your poor grammar more of an offense than public breastfeeding 😉

  • Lelayna Hernandez

    I think people need to grow the hell up. Why is it okay to see have naked women in music videos shaking their asses, or women walking down the runway or in tv commercials in barely there underwear or guys walking down the street with the pants hanging low enough to expose their underwear and their asses but it isn’t okay for a woman to breast feed her child? I don’t understand this at all.

    • chauncy

      Because what you mentioned are all sexual in nature and sex is natural too.
      And it’s a medical fact that the child is not getting any health benefit from sucking on Mama’s boob.
      Boobs are sexual. Men like them and Woman go out of their way to show them off.
      Women cannot have the double standard that on one hand, looking at boobs is naughty and special and the next moment, those same breasts are just glands to be whipped out anywhere & everywhere… It does not work like that and breast-feeding women should cover up when they’re doing it.

      • chauncy

        REVISE: I meant “sucking on a woman’s boob AFTER the forst few months.”

        • Bob

          You are such an idiot, there are plenty of benefits to Mama and baby breastfeeding. There are over one hundred plus nutrients that cannot be replicated. When you decide to eat under a blanket, and it becomes socially norm, then people can request that NIP is covered as well.

        • Bob

          The World Health Organization recomonds, “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with
          continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to
          two years of age or beyond.”

    • It’s about time for the truth

      You rock! Well said.

  • kathy

    Are you kidding me? Breast feeding your child should not be a problem, the public is more inclined to want to see barely clothed women, men wearing pants that are so low on the hips that everyone can see their underwear. We have “entertainers” who make sexual videos that are seen by everyone from 8 to 80 and we are worrying about how a mother feeds her child. Please, lets’ give breast-feeding mothers a break, there more things to worry about. By the way it is “spare me, not spear me.”

    • JusticeB

      I do not want to see men wearing pants that look like they are about to fall off, with their fancy boxers sticking out. Words cannot describe how much I hate that look. Breast feeding is fine as long as women are discreet. Not hiding, not ashamed, not necessary covering every inch of skin, but also not waving half her body in your face. And since I did see a woman show WAY too much of herself in a restaurant on one occasion, it is necessary to point that out.

  • Grasshopper

    Breastfeeding should be a business women cant profit off.

  • Grasshopper

    Breastfeeding can be a business women profit off.

  • cme run

    breasts, in today’s and most past societies are an erogenous zone. Yes they serve a dual purpose by supplying milk for a child, but they are still considered an erogenous zone and are sexual by nature. Nice try Mayim, I love your work and respect your expertise, but on this one I will not agree.

    • Bob

      So are the ears, let’s start covering those bad boys up too, earmuffs will be popular again……….. while we are at it, the top of the head, the neck, and even stomache, good bye bikinis!!! Bring on the turtle necks, and hats!

  • DGR

    Taking a leak isn’t a sexual act either, but I don’t wanna see anyone do it in public.

  • chris

    Ms.Bilaik hit the nail on the head when she said it was an intimate act between the MOTHER AND CHILD. So let it be between THEM, and not everyone else. It should be done in private.

  • JusticeB

    I once saw a woman breast feeding her baby in a restaurant with her entire breast AND her stomach and abdomen fully exposed. It was totally unnecessary and unpleasant It’s one thing for part of the breast to show; it’s another thing to sit there half naked. And in case you’re wondering, I also don’t think women in restaurants should wear bikinis or that men in restaurants should be shirtless. When there’s food around I like to see as little human flesh as possible, since most human flesh isn’t that appetizing.

  • Sunny

    Come on people…what are we teaching our children? That the only way they can be comforted is with the boob? I certainly don’t mind NIP with a baby, but a toddler? Aren’t there other ways for a child to self soothe? Isn’t that a goal of a good parent? The 3 – 4 – 5 year old acts up so Mom whips out the boob and rewards bad behavior? What immediate gratification will he/she want at 15 or 16 yrs. old? You guessed it!

    • Lulu

      Agreed, Sunny. However, I think a 15 year old would be repulsed at the thought of brest feeding from their mother. (Unless you were inplying that the boob is related to sex with another 15/16 year old.) I brestfed my kids til 1 year and the second kid til 15 months. Beyond age 2 it becomes ridiculous. My cousin brestfed until 3 1/2 or 4. Her daughter became so attached that she wouldn’t let mom out of sight. It was too extreme. And at that point I think it was more for mom to have control and/or to feel needed then any benefit the brestmilk had. I always say that if they can ask for it, it’s time to switch to plastic cups.

      • Sunny

        I agree with you Lulu. What I meant is that there is the underlying possibility that the 15 or 16 year old will turn to drugs to get his/her immediate gratification. I know of a toddler who demands (he’s almost 3) “nursey”. And he gets it immediately or else he has a melt down. We’re on the same page about it’s more about the Mom than the child!

  • Tex-S

    I’m not going to take sides on the argument of how long breast feeding is appropriate, but Ms. Bialik is missing a very large issue when she defends openly breast feeding a toddler on a bus or subway train or in a Subway restaurant for that matter. I teach 12-18 year old boys and I can guarantee that watching a toddler breast feed IS a sexual experience for them. Right or wrong, such a display in a public forum is interpreted as sexual by that segment of our society, and because of that, a little attention to modesty would be best, in my opinion. Unaroused teen aged boys are trouble enough, usually……

  • Jared Amason

    A woman’s breast is defined in our culture as nudity. As long as she covers herself while breast feeding, she has the right. If she exposes herself, she’s breaking a law. It’s simple.

  • RalphCifaretto

    Taking a dump is a natural act, too. That doesn’t mean anyone wants to see you do it in public. It’s just rude behavior.